I am settled into my new home in Davis, California. The first of many visitors during my first week in my 2 bedroom apartment teased me that now I live in Portlandia. (If you have never seen this very funny send up of the particular culture of Portland, Oregon, click here: http://www.ifc.com/shows/portlandia) There are some strong similarities between Davis and Portland, and this makes me like Davis more. I considered moving to Portland when I first returned to the U.S. but then I quickly found a job in Sacramento and so here I am. Moving to Davis allows me to have a different experience and live somewhere in sync with my redesigned life. My apartment is a typical 2 bedroom apartment circa 1975. I have a nice sized back garden and a plot in the community garden. The best part of my new home is the setting. I live in a development called Village Homes that was very revolutionary back in the day. It was designed with community and conservation in mind and an early example of similar developments around the country, like Seaside in Florida.
Of course, the 70s was also a decade when JRR Tolkein's books were discovered by hippies, and other idealists, so all of the streets make up a small Hobbiton: Rivendell, Bucklebury, and my street Evenstar Lane. We even have a village green with a community center, office buildings, a preschool and a fine Italian restaurant. (More information on the conservation designed into the community: http://www.villagehomesdavis.org/public/about)
Village Homes green
Hobbiton in New Zealand
The green is a perfect place to play Kubb. All of the homes have a small front and back yards because there is so much shared space. Radar moved with me and he absolutely loves it. We walk a couple of times a day and each time we take a new route.
My back garden opens to a path on Russell Boulevard. Each afternoon a murder of crows flies in to feast on the walnuts that line the avenue. I love crows and ravens. They get a bad rap in literature and poetry (thanks, Poe). They are very intelligent and social. I enjoy hearing them and watching their aerial tricks.
I also hope that their presence will remind me to write!
I have only been here a little over a week and already I have enjoyed many visitors: Tyla, Alison, Sarah, Marcos, Jim, Stephanie, Max, Tevis, and tonight Jen. I am furnishing the second bedroom to be a guest room, not an office. I look forward to more socializing with neighbors and friends. Maybe you too!